I received a call on Friday afternoon informing me that a Codejet Evolution 3 ink jet coder, based in London was displaying its service icon. Having been out of action for the previous 7 days due to my recent house move, I decided to undertake the service call out personally on the following Monday morning.
On Sunday night I consulted the weather forecast predictor on my i-phone, checked out the papers and the BBC weather forecast. Everyone was predicting a scorcher with not the slightest hint of rain. I therefore decided to travel down in my shorts, T-shirt and sandals. On my arrival I would change into my safety footwear and more appropriate works clothing to carry out the service.
Over the past twenty years the coding and marking industry has, like many other industries reaped the benefit of massive leaps in technological advances. This has enabled ink jet coders to go toe to toe with many of the labeling systems, which were regarded not so long ago as the only viable option for logo’s, matrix and bar coding onto our produce. The most significant advances have however been made in the reliability of the ink jet coding equipment. Service intervals previously spanning a three month period are now more likely to be twelve to twenty four months.
Which brings me back to my journey; Travelling south on the M11 I had just reached Stanstead Airport when the heavens opened, the rain was so torrential that any speed in excess of 20mph would have been reckless.
This weather continued for the remainder of my journey into central London, which was a stop start affair due to at least three accidents caused by this adverse weather.
As I sat in my car static in an endless queue which disappeared over the horizon towards London, I started to think; the advancements we have made in industry and manufacturing processes, have surely been replicated both technologically and in terms of reliability when it comes to predicting the daily weather. How can the Met office continue to get things wrong with all of this sophisticated measuring and monitoring equipment available today. If our coding and marking equipment displayed this tendency for unpredictability we would be out of business within months.
Which brings me finally onto our current road situation. I have lost so many vital hours of my life stuck in traffic across this country, by the time I actually croak I will have probably lost 10% of my life sat in my car absolutely static, watching the traffic flowing freely in the opposite direction to which I am travelling. On my return trip I started to formulate a plan which should hopefully, over a two year period reduce this lost time for all involved at Coding & Handling by as much as 60%. In five years time my plan should return up to 90% of this lost time, making a massive impact on how we operate and the implications of overall cost effectiveness for our UK customer base. Unfortunately my plan cannot be tweaked in order to alleviate the third rate road system in this country, nor can it be adapted to improve the information regarding our weather. It will however result in faster response times, lower charges and more up-time for our entire customer base.